Lungu’s papers as well as those of his running mate, Professor Nkandu Luo, were verified and duly certified as correct by Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) Chairperson Justice Esau Chulu for the August 12 polls.
The Zambian leader later told journalists that he was happy over his choice of his running mate, saying he has chosen her because she was politically strong and professionally accomplished.
He said he was not worried about people who may have reservations about his choice of a running mate and called for peaceful campaigns.
“After great reflections and prayerful thought, I have picked Professor Nkandu Luo as my running mate in the August 12 elections. I have no doubt that we are going to make a great team that will not only give our party the electoral victory but, ultimately, the progress we desire for our great nation,” he said.
Luo, 69, is a scientist and a holder of a doctorate in microbiology who has served in various ministerial positions in government. She was first elected as a lawmaker in 1996 under the former ruling Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) and served in various ministerial positions.
She later joined the Patriotic Front (PF) and was elected as a lawmaker in 2011 and served in various ministerial positions. Her last position was Minister of Fisheries and Livestock.
Lungu selected Luo in response to current Vice-President Inonge Wina’s decision to retire from politics after the August 12 polls.
Lungu has since paid glowing tribute to his vice-president for the services rendered since her appointment in 2015, saying she has been a bedrock to rely on because of her immense counsel and wisdom.
Lungu’s filing of his nomination papers lays to rest debates that have been raging that he was not eligible to stand because he has served two terms in line with the constitution.
But the Constitutional Court ruled that the first term could not be counted as a full term because he was only finishing the term left by his predecessor, late President Michael Sata.
Lungu was first elected as president in 2015 before being re-elected in 2016. He faces stiff competition from Hakainde Hichilema, leader of the main opposition, the United Party for National Development (UPND).
So far 20 presidential candidates have paid for their nomination papers and will be filing their nomination papers this week, according to the electoral body.